Our second annual festival celebrating 

Dr. Willard Palmer was on 

May 3-4, 2014 !

Congratulations to all participants !

( read below for more )

A World of Accordions Museum is proud to announce the May 3-4, 2014, second annual festival celebrating Dr. Willard Palmer, whose musical estate is preserved in this institution. A slate of over twenty performers playing accordions, violins, piano and folk drums in solos, ensembles and orchestral settings of original works for accordion by Hans Brehme, and Hugo Herrmann, as well as Palmer editions of Bach, Beethoven and others. Palmer’s great Titano Super Emperor, will be featured accompanying vocals by lyric soprano and MM candidate Amanda Bush, along with two unpublished Palmer manuscripts.


Event highpoints will be entertainments by Willard Palmer, III, master of magic, mystery and mirth, who has delighted royalty and commoners throughout the world. This multifaceted entertainer combines music, humor and encyclopedic knowledge in ways that remain highpoints for all who heard him at last year’s festival. He and his wife Julie, generous donors of the Palmer estate, will also entertain on banjos and accordions.


A curator-guided tour of the museum will include evolving displays in The AAA’s Archival Collection room and a concert-setting lecture/demonstration of two-dozen historic instruments explaining cultural and repertory differences that spurred and inspired their inventions, tuning specialties and pitch organizations. Our research into the dissemination of Equal Temperament through accordion-family instruments will be explained.


The noted author Anthony Bukoski will read segments from his works 
related to the musical and cultural history of the Midwest.


The focus of this event involves presentation of Palmer’s magnificent 10-foot’, two-manual, six-plectra, eleven-pedal harpsichord built by A. Cecil Taylor (Houston, 1979). It’s extraordinarily beautiful encasement is ornamented in gold leaf and vermillion; the soundboard was hand painted by southwest artist Grant Tinkler. The first round of restoration was undertaken by engineer Roger Schmitz, an accomplished accordionist from our studio, with help from Kevin Friedrich, AWAM’s newest appointee to the board of directors.


The instrument was transported to the museum in the summer of 2013 and installed at stage-center in AWAM’s Hanni Strahl Concert Hall. Both the instrument and its surroundings showcase the serious musical interests of this institution, the confidence imbued in its continuance, and its importance among musical instrument collections.


Soundboard painted by Tinkler                Kevin Friedrich and Roger Schmitz       


Kevin purveys tables of keys and parts                     Julie and Willard Palmer, III


 Admission is charged: $50.00 for all events, $15.00 per individual event. 

 A 10% reduction will be applied to museum members and for tickets purchased by April 15. 

 A planned schedule of events ( PDF, click to view ) 

 Refreshments will be provided throughout both days. 

Accordion Concertina Music Band and Ensemble Performers:    Wisconsinites:  Ron Askegaard (Foxboro), Audrey Meitzner (Solon Springs);  Minnesotans:    John Blumenfeld (Minneapolis), Amanda Bush (Duluth), Jack Drucker (Minneapolis), Robin Floyd (Two Harbors), Cindy Graff (St. Louis Park), Carrie Kalweit (Minneapolis), Joy and Roger Schmitz (Hutchinson), Shelby Setniker (Maplewood), Marian Syrjamaki-Kuchta (Duluth), Anne Velasco (Duluth);  Texan:  Krystal Wolfe-Harrington (Austin)

Special Thanks:  Sally Blumenfeld (percussion), Amanda Bush ((UMD Master of Music candidate), Carolyn Carver (DSSO violinist, teacher, arranger), Julie and Willard Palmer, III (Houston, Texas).

Businesses providing refreshments (also advertised in the concert hall):  Apple Bagels (Belknap St., Superior) Subway Sandwiches (Belknap St., Superior), Arco Coffee (Winter St., Superior), Super One Foods (Superior), Keyport Liquor (Superior), The Duluth Grill (27th  Ave. W, Duluth), Valentini’s (London Road, Duluth)

Volunteers contributing foods:    June Askegaard, Robin Floyd, Krystal and Charles Harrington, Audrey Meitzner, Marian Syrjamaki-Kuchta

Volunteers helping to make this event possible:    Mary Carlson, Robin Floyd, Audrey Meitzner, Marian Syrjamaki-Kuchta, Anne Velasco

Kevin Friedrich joins A World of Accordions Museum Board of Directors

A World of Accordions Museum is proud to announce the appointment of Kevin Friedrich to its board of directors during his visit in January, 2014. Kevin’s breadth of expertise extends to many fields which we expect will greatly benefit this institution. As past-president of the Confèdèration Internationale des Accordèonistes he is respected in accordion circles worldwide, also serves on the board of the American Accordionists’ Association with which the museum is affiliated, and is a performing artist of renown. As founder/curator of the New Zealand accordion museum, he is intimately familiar with operations and requirements of this type of organization. His regard for our museum and friendship with its curator (Helmi Harrington) has been solid for decades. The board unanimously welcomes his involvement in our future.


In the photo below, Kevin is shown in a portion of the American Accordionists’ Association Archival 
room for which he made suggestions to enhance the displays illuminating social, 
cultural, and musical contributions of their 75-year history.


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